White House Discloses Ethics Waivers For Presidential Aides

作者:未知 来源:美国国家公共电台 2017-06-02

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Last night, the White House released 14 ethics waivers, documents that exempt some top presidential aides from important ethics rules. As NPR's Peter Overby reports, the disclosures came after a quiet but tough battle between the Trump administration and the Office of Government Ethics.

PETER OVERBY, BYLINE: The waivers are considered public documents, but for weeks after President Trump took office, they weren't made public. In April, the Office of Government Ethics began to push the issue. The White House initially said OGE didn't have the legal authority to do that. But yesterday, it agreed to post the waivers online. OGE Director Walter Shaub Jr. had a terse response.

WALTER SHAUB JR.: I was pleased to see the White House release the waivers on its website. Having the waivers is critical to ensuring that agencies and individual appointees are adhering to the ethics requirements.

OVERBY: Among those getting ethics waivers, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was allowed to take bonuses of a $175,000 from his old job running the Republican National Committee. Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway was allowed to communicate with clients from her former consulting firm but only on broad policy matters. Three former corporate lobbyists will keep working on the issues they dealt with before - finance and energy and the environment. And Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News, can meet privately with that media outlet.

More waivers are out there, and the Office of Government Ethics expects to make them public as it collects them from other federal agencies. Peter Overby, NPR News, Washington.

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